Urinetown - performed at ACT
Apr 6 – Jun 2, 2019
Tickets to Urinetown are flying off the shelves! The show has been extended by popular demand! Check out these new dates:
A Co-Production with & Presented at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
A Co-Production with & Presented at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
Plan Your Visit to ACT Theatre
Run Time for Urinetown is approximately 2 hours inlcuding one intermission.
Where is ACT located?
ACT is located in downtown Seattle just two blocks from The 5th, at the corner of 7th Avenue and Union Street. Visit ACT's Directions & Parking page for more information.
ACT is located at 700 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101.
Productions begin promptly, so please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Doors open 60 minutes before the show and seating begins 30 minutes before the curtain.
Patrons arriving late will be seated at the discretion of House Management at the first suitable pause in the performance in the least disruptive location.
Smoking is NOT allowed in any part of the theatre or within 25 feet of the entrance.
No firearms of any kind are allowed in any part of the theatre.
Food & Drinks
Food is not allowed in the theatre. Tuxedos & Tennis Shoes is the exclusive caterer of ACT. Drinks are allowed in the theatre, provided they are in a plastic cup with no ice. No glass allowed.
Lost & Found
Call 206.292.7676 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm, Tues-Sun.
ACT offers the Figaro MobiTxt® Closed Captioning System for audience members who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (HH). This system is offered at multiple performances for each production. Devices can be requested upon arrival at the theatre. ACT is also equipped with the Williams Sound® Audio Equipment, which amplifies stage sounds with the aid of headsets (ask staff for assistance). ASL interpreted performances for the Mainstage Season are offered at least once per play (check the website or contact the Ticket Office for ASL dates). Wheelchair seating is also available. Learn more on ACT's Accessibility page.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
In the event of an emergency, please wait for an announcement for further instructions. Ushers will be available for assistance.
The theatre's emergency number in the Union lobby is 206.292.7667. Leave your exact seat location with your emergency contact in case they need to reach you.
All performances will take place as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions.
ACT welcomes children ages 5 and older. Children under 5 years of age, including babes in arms, will not be admitted.
If you lose your tickets or forget to bring them with you to the theatre, contact the ticket office at 206.292.7676 and ACT will replace them.
Our trusted third-party vendors are Goldstar and TodayTix. We strongly discourage patrons from purchasing tickets through any other outside vendors. Tickets bought from scalpers, brokers or by other third-party means may be counterfeit or inadmissible, and they are often grossly overpriced. These purchases do not benefit the performers, producers, The 5th Avenue Theatre or ACT Theatre. Purchasing directly from The 5th or ACT is your best bet for best seats and best available prices.
Cameras & Recorders
Photographic or recording equipment are not allowed in the theatre. As a courtesy to our audience and actors on stage, we ask that all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices be turned off BEFORE the show.
Ask an Usher
If you experience any discomfort during a performance, an usher or the House Manager will be glad to assist you.
Run time for Urinetown is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes including one intermission.
Urinetown, which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2004 and won Tonys for Best Book and Best Score in 2002, is a satirical comedy that lampoons political corruption, economic inequality and irresponsible handling of the environment.
In the world of Urinetown, as Officer Lockstock informs us, “Everyone has to use public bathrooms to take care of their private business;” this is the result of a catastrophic twenty-year drought, which has made water scarce and precious. As the play opens, The Poor are waiting in front of “Public Amenity # 9”; admission is high (the facilities are run by a private corporation – Urine Good Company), so the Poor must wait in line for hours to use “the poorest, filthiest urinal in town.” Anyone caught “peeing for free” is exiled to the mythical Urinetown. As the guardian of “Public Amenity #9 sings, “The politicians in their wisdom saw/That there should be a law.”
Adult language is mild in Urinetown (there is some use of “damned” and “damn it”), but there is a lot of bathroom humor. Ms. Pennywise, who manages Public Amenity #9, sings, “The Good Lord made us so we’d piss each day / Until we piss away.”
Cladwell, the owner of Urine Good Company, observes to his staff: “I made flushing mean flush at the bank/I’m the man with the plan/So who should you thank?”
A character is unable to wait and begins peeing in public, objecting, “This is no way to live!” (There is no nudity.) The police arrive to arrest him for breaking the Public Health Act, an exiling offense.
Senator Fipp, a corrupt politician being bribed by UGC, meets Hope, the young daughter of Cladwell; innocent and idealistic, she has just finished school. The senator attempts to flirt with her, and is quickly dismissed by Cladwell.
Officer Lockstock, a crooked cop, also attempts to flirt with Hope. He says her father failed to mention “the size and purity of your beauty” and kisses Hope’s hand. “Does beauty have a size, Officer?” Hope asks.
When it looks as if the rebel poor will kill Hope, a character confesses to being her (unwed) mother.
A character is dragged off by the police for deportation to Urinetown when he is unable to pay for access to a public facility.
When asked what Urinetown is like, Officer Lockstock demurs: “Its power depends on mystery. I can’t just blurt it out, like ‘There is no Urinetown! We just kill people!’ Oh, no. The information must be oozed out slowly until it bursts forth in one mighty cathartic moment. Somewhere in Act Two.”
Bobby Strong, who becomes the leader of the Rebel Poor, believes that “Urinetown’s a lie/A means to keep the poor in check/Until the day they die.”
Little Sally, on the other hand, believes Urinetown is “here/It’s the town wherever/ People learn to live in fear.”
Eventually, the poor people at Public Facility #9 refuse to pay, rescind the Public Health Act and the Water Preservation Act and begin “peeing for free.”
They revolt and seize the company head’s daughter (Hope) as a hostage.
They threaten to string her up in the song, “Snuff That Girl.” (Bobby arrives to object: “This has got to be about more than revenge and stringing up someone who can’t defend herself.”)
A character is arrested and fights with her captors as they attempt to deliver her to Urinetown; she escapes. Another character is taken to “Urinetown,” which turns out to be the roof of the UGC, where he is to be thrown off.
One of the policemen is killed in an attack by the Rebel Poor.
As the chorus of the Poor sings, “Rich folks get the good life / Poor folks get the woe; / In the end it’s nothing you don’t know.” The poor beg for pennies for a pee; Ms. Pennywise, who guards the door and collects the money, informs them, “No one’s getting’ anywhere for free! Don’t you think I have bills of my own to pay?! Don’t you think I have taxes and tariffs and payoffs to meet too?” She tells them, “It’s a privilege to pee / Water’s worth its weight in gold these days.”
Meanwhile Senator Fipp is waiting for the “dough” he will get from the hike in facility fees (if the vote passes) so he can escape on a “fact-finding” mission to Rio. He is worried that it’s a “powder keg” out there because of possible public reaction. Hope, assured that this is all for the general welfare, innocently remarks, “Gosh, I never realized large monopolizing corporations could be such a force for good in the world!”
Bobby, as he leads the Rebel Poor, declares he made himself “A promise that from this day on, no one man would be denied his essential humanity because of the condition of his pocketbook. That no man in need would be ignored by another with the means to help him. Here and now, from this day forward, because of you, and you, and you, we will look into the faces of our fellow man and see not only a brother, but a sister as well.” (The idealism of the rebels and even the innocent Hope is eventually undercut, however, because it turns out they have no solution for the water shortage.)